Most companies would think twice about employing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) when they can hire people who are perfectly able. But for Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI), providing work to PWDs also benefits companies and their employees.
BAVI is one of the local companies that have partnered with Unilab Foundation for Project Inclusion, a program that helps PWDs obtain and sustain jobs in an actual work environment, giving them renewed hope and confidence in their talents and abilities.
Aljune Atok suffers from visual impairment, having completely lost sight in his left eye. Despite his condition, the 26-year-old has found work at BAVI and has been a junior programmer in the information systems department for nearly a year.
Aljune grew up in Leyte. After earning his college degree and finishing with Latin honors, he went to Manila to find a good paying job. He recounts that at first, he had to face the fear of discrimination.
“Hindi naman nila sinasabi directly, pero alam mo na ‘yon ang ibig nilang sabihin. Bakit nga naman kasi sila mag-i-invest sa ganito, kung pwede naman sila mag-hire ng abled,” said Aljune.
However, Aljune did not allow this fear to hamper his goal of landing a permanent job with regular pay. Through his perseverance and determination, he was endorsed by a former superior to Project Inclusion, which later on brought him to BAVI.
“What we admire most about Aljune is his attitude towards work. He goes to work every day, eager to learn more and develop new skills,” shared Senior Supervisor Alistair Javillonar. He added that the team is inspired by Aljune’s behaviour and they believe in his ability to perform beyond his disability.